Alexander Averin

Sunday, 25 January 2009

January Sunday

Ivy growing inside the forge

Dear Diary,

Just a few photos and a poem tonight. I took the photos when I was over collecting logs for the woodburner this morning. We store the wood in the old forge and the sun was shining inside, so, with the theme of shadows still on my mind I popped back indoors for my camera.

Views from within

It has been such a lovely Sunday. Quiet and peaceful with an air of calm about the day and 'twas so pleasant to be outside that after I had run the dogs in the field, I spent a few hours in the garden again, sweeping, tidying up borders, clearing away soggy leaves and stalks, wind blown sticks etc. I am afraid I am a bit of a fair weather gardener. I planted some allium bulbs; just hope I am not too late with them. My snowdrops have started flowering, always a time of joy for me, the white lungwort is in flower and the daffodil shoots are a few inches in height. I can't help but feel the growth of stirrings of excitement myself and it is still only January.

I'll leave you with a poem that could have been written for me ( or by me. were I so talented). I stumbled across it, as you do, on the Irish Salmon poetry publishers website.

Fire, Ashes

Sometimes, I wonder if I should have lived
like the others who just set a time-clock
or flick a switch to summon heat;
not have to fret over damp turf or kindling,
nor struggle with slow fires, erratic smoke
and ashes gathering in the grate.
But if I’d done that, what would I have known
about fire’s glow and afterglow, or sparks
being moulded to blazing sods;
the whoosh and thunder when dampers open;
or, after lengthy vigil, breaking through
to flow and pulsing in the rads?
Patrick Moran

This poem rung a bell with me. For only this morning as I returned with my firewood I had thought to myself that if I did not collect logs each day I would miss the chance to see the rays of the sun highlighting the ivy hanging down inside the forge, I would not notice the blue sky peeping through, I would not feel the presence of past blacksmiths, I would not get my circulation going in the cold, I would not feel the satisfaction of filling my barrow with a mix of logs, some heavy, some light, some dry, some not-so-dry. but which I know will all bring me the warmth and the magic that only comes with a real fire.

I will sign off now,
Go mneannai Dia duit,


Elizabethd said...

Beautiful photos Cait.
Like you , I begin to feel that we might soon see Spring. It's so exciting to find the first few daffodil shoots popping up, and snowdrops too! That is a flower that is not found here.

Calico Kate said...

Lovely photos Cait. We have no sign of spring yet so lucky you with the snowdrops already. I just love snowdrops.

Salle de Bain said...

That's lovely Cait...and I know just what you mean. When I walk up to let the hens and ducks out each morning, the sky and the land is many different facets, missed by so many at such an early hour.

I have ONE flowering snowdrop, so I'm protecting it (from the gales) like mad!!!

Exmoorjane said...

Very lovely Cait. I miss having to forage for firewood, and miss the early snowdrops all over the banks by the stream..... Last spring I barely looked at my garden so hoping for some nice surprises this time round.

Barbee' said...

I enjoyed this post very much, thank you. I live in Kentucky, U.S.A., gardening zone 6. We have snow and another worse winter storm on the way to arrive tonight. I am not complaining: I enjoy winter as much as the other seasons. My Eranthis and Snowdrops usually begin to bloom in February; sometimes they are beneath the snow. Won't be long, now.

lampworkbeader said...

Remarkable photos Cait. Green shoots are coming up in my garden as well, though we're a bit waterlogged at the moment.

Cowgirl said...

What an enjoyable post, and I loved the photo's of the old forge with all it's memories...

You do miss much when you are not outside regularly, and a task only becomes a chore if you let it! So agree about the open fire.

Pondside said...

If you didn't have to collect logs we'd never have seen those beautiful photos. The first one, in particular, looks like a watercolour.

Nan said...

I'm going to show this poem to my husband. He is really the wood person around here - I just put logs in the woodstove. :<) He'll love it because he has expressed a lot of those thoughts. He loves every phase of burning wood. I should know from reading book after book set in your part of the world that there are flowers early, and that winter doesn't last long, but still reading about your flowers just amazes me. Let's see, I'll have some daffs popping through the ground in maybe April. They bloom in early May here. I love how you write, 'dear diary.'

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Stopping by to say hello and to thank you for your comment in my corner today. The funniest thing happened just now. One of my commenters said that she had to Google something on my post...Gardiner-Larson, which I found odd since I had provided a link. So I Googled and found a blog page that you had done on that, but that is not here now??? I was looking forward to reading it!

I have bookmarked your blog as I'm looking forward to spending more time here. Your current post is so lyrical with such wonderful photographs. Spring must come early to Wales; I'm afraid that it is at least three months away for me.

Visit again! I'd love that.

LittleBrownDog said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Cait - both the photos and the poem. I love the way you pause to take delight in the everyday - it's so important not to lose a connection with the basics of living. I think we should all take a leaf out of your book.

mountainear said...

I love your reflections on bringing in the wood - I feel much the same when letting out the hens on a dank morning; the things I would miss if I didn't - they all make up part of a bigger picture.

I've assigned you the letter 'P' - hope you can do something with it!

Debs said...

Gorgeous photos, as usual. I love the poem too.

I have no idea about poetry, so would never attempt to write it, but I do love to read it occasionally.

Elizabeth said...

You have hit the nail on the head!
How I miss gathering ticks for kindling.
Such a lovely poem.

willow said...

Wonderful post. I connected so much to the Moran poem. I love Willow Manor for it's old fashioned charm, foregoing many plush conveniences most modern homes have these days.

Your new header is great!

kissa said...

Your thoughts on the real fire ring true here. We have been in this house for about 18 months and have just had the gas fire taken out and next week there will be a wood stove in the space. The heat from a wood stove has a special quality about it which I am aware is a barmy thing to say but I am sure you know what I mean!
What a lovely poem thank you for finding it. Claire x

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and will be visiting often. We, too, have the daily task of bringing wood indoors for the wood-burning stove, and a boiler that heats our water. Hard work on days of hard frost, or when it is raining, but when we go outside to the old stable, I am always encouraged to walk around our wild garden.I would miss so much if I didn't. Then there are the hens ...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So, so true. There is so much to be thankful for, and to appreciate, about the little ordinary chores of one's life. And the photos you took are so lovely. I love the muted winter colour.

My garden is at its most grey at the moment. Like you, I'm afraid I am more of a fair weather gardener! But Spring will most certainly be here before we know it!!

CAMILLA said...

Lovely photo's Cait, soo too the poem, but then I always adore your photo's and poems they are such a delight.

I adore the Snowdrops, such a gentle plant, ours are not quite out yet, although I did see a single rose-bud in the garden this morning even in the cold frost.!

I like to collect kindling from the woods on my travel with Daisy, comes in handy for the woodburner.

I loved your sense of joy in stopping for a while to capture the moment of the beauty around you.